Epcot is a fantastic theme park filled with diverse experiences—it has something for everyone. In the World Showcase section of the park you will find some of the best food on Disney property, great shopping, attractions, characters, and entertainment. Here are 10 of my favorite things about Epcot’s World Showcase:
10. Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure
Signing up to help Agent P (aka Perry the Platypus from Phineas & Ferb) rescue World Showcase countries from the evil plans of Dr. Doofenshmirtz is a great way to get your kids excited about exploring the World Showcase. You can play this fun game through the Play Disney Parks App on your phone and as you sign up for missions and visit the countries you will be able to activate special effects and have certain activities to complete. While the kids are playing you can take the opportunity to shop, snack, and take in the details of each country. Or, you may get swept up into the fun of the game.
9. The Characters
As a Travel Planner I often get asked if there is anything in Epcot for kids. The answer is YES! World Showcase is actually my favorite place to meet characters. Nearly every country features a character whose film is related to that country, so as you travel around you can meet characters in beautiful settings . . . and you can find characters you can’t find anywhere else. In Mexico Donald meets guests in his serape and sombrero. Norway has the Royal Sommerhus to meet Anna and Elsa. Mulan greets guests in China. Snow White is found in Germany. Morocco has a meet and greet for Jasmine. In France you can meet Belle and Princess Aurora. The United Kingdom has Alice and Mary Poppins.
8. The Festivals
I love Epcot’s Festivals which now take up about 3/4 of the year. World Showcase serves as the epicenter for all of the Festivals with the majority of the food booths, vendors and decoration. My favorite Festival is Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival in the Spring when World Showcase is filled with beautiful topiaries, flowers and gardens, along with some delicious fresh food booths. The year starts out with the International Festival of the Arts where World Showcase hosts Disney on Broadway performers in concert on the America’s Garden Theater stage, along with artists throughout selling their work. The most popular festival is Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival in the Fall when World Showcase is shoulder to shoulder food booths featuring regional specialties. And for the holidays they bring out storytellers, performers, food and drink, and special merchandise to celebrate for the International Festival of the Holidays.
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7. Teppan Edo
World Showcase is filled with fantastic dining and it is hard to narrow down favorites for a list. Teppan Edo in Japan is one of my favorites. Here you get a show and dinner with the hibachi style service. Your chef comes to your table and puts on a fun show while preparing your meal with a little Disney flare. The food here is very good (and may be a step up from your local Japanese steakhouse), and you definitely get plenty to eat. Plus, most people can find something on the menu to please them. I recommend trying to get a dining reservation for Teppan Edo on your next vacation.
6. The Mexico Pavilion
I love all of the countries, but there is just something really magical about walking into the Mexico Pavilion. Designed as an ancient pyramid on the outside, once you enter it is dusk in a bustling open air Mexican marketplace. The setting is just beautiful with the lighting and the architecture. You will find kiosks set up selling Mexican merchandise (the painted spirit animals are my favorites). There is a table service restaurant with a fun view of the water, and a tequila bar. Also inside you will find Mexico’s attraction, Gran Fiesta Tour with Starring the Three Caballeros.
5. Via Napoli
Via Napoli in the Italy pavilion has long been a favorite of my family. With all of the ethnic cuisine in World Showcase it is sometimes hard to find something that everyone in the family will agree on . . . but it is hard to go wrong with pizza. And Via Napoli has the best pizza in Walt Disney World. Their pizza is certified as being authentic Neapolitan Pizza with a thin crust, San Marzano Tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, flour imported from Italy, and water that is similar to the Campania region in Italy. Then the pizzas are baked in wood fired ovens to create a crispy, sometimes slightly charred crust. And the ovens are named after Italy’s volcanoes: Stromboli, Etna, and Vesuvius. Not only is the pizza delicious, but the other entrees offered are as well.
4. Les Halles Boulangerie and Patisserie
It is hard to go wrong with a bakery, and even harder if that is a French Bakery. Les Halles Boulangerie and Patisserie in France is probably my go-to place to eat in the World Showcase. I think they have some great values on their menu including a ham and cheese croissant that is absolutely delicious! They have a variety of sweet and savory items that are perfect to piece together a meal. And, they are open for breakfast! The only drawback here is that there can be a shortage of seating during popular dining times—but they can box up your order to go if you are meeting your family in another spot to eat.
3. Frozen Ever After
While I will always miss Maelstrom (RIP), Frozen Ever After is undeniably one of the most popular attractions at Epcot. Located in the Norway Pavilion this ride features our favorite Norwegian sisters Anna & Elsa, along with Sven, Olaf, Kristoff, the Trolls, and even the Marshmallow the Snow Monster and the Snowgies. There is a pretty constant wait for the attraction so your best bet is to secure a FastPass for it, or to take part in the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party that gives you a reserved spot for fireworks, Frozen themed desserts, drinks, and a ride on the attraction after the fireworks.
2. Live Entertainment
The live entertainment in World Showcase is a lot of fun, whether you just happen up on it or pick up a times guide to make sure you don’t miss it. Several acts like Sergio in Italy, Serveur Amusant in France, the Jeweled Dragon Acrobats, Matsuriza in Japan, Mariachi Cobre in Mexico, and the British Revolution in the UK are long running and very entertaining acts. Others sort of switch out periodically. As you can see there is a nice combination of comedy, musical performances (both traditional and more modern), and special skills (like the acrobats). I think it adds to the overall atmosphere of World Showcase to have all of this going on, and it contributes to the cultural story of each pavilion as well.
1. The Shopping
My favorite thing about the World Showcase is the shopping. And I tried, but I could not narrow it down to one shop. The Mitsukoshi Department Store in Japan is certainly a front runner with its huge size, variety of Japanese merchandise, and the always entertaining Pick-A-Pearl area to select an oyster (each one has a cultured pearl) and with great ceremony they open it for you and present your pearl. I also love the shop in Norway with the sterling silver jewelry, Laila perfume, and Helly Hansen clothing. I’ve already mentioned how I love the outdoor market in Mexico. In Germany the Christmas shop is a favorite, along with the toys shop. Really every country has some great shopping with merchandise appropriate to that country. It is fun to set a budget and try to find a low priced souvenir as you visit each country that you think really represents the experience there.
What are you favorite things about Epcot’s World Showcase?